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Amazing Dioramas Instead of A Model Railroad

Gary from Alberta in Canada sent in these photos to share:

model railroad dioramasI’m not planning to build a large train layout, as I would prefer to build very detailed dioramas instead, mainly because I model in several different gauges…HO, Hon3, Hon30, On30 and G scale. Attached are some photos of some dioramas I’ve completed in HO and Hon30 scale.  One of the photos shows a very small diorama on a black turntable. The size of the model is 4″ x 6″ (10.16cm x 15.24cm) and is in Hon30 scale.  It was a challenge to the members of our club to build a scene on a block of wood that size.

dioramas for model trainsI also built an HO scale diorama that had nothing to do with model trains.  It was of a turn-of-the-century house that was constructed to fit into an enclosed case.  It was built as a wedding present for my granddaughter, who lives in Melbourne, Australia.  My wife and flew down there for the wedding in November and had to hand carry the diorama from Calgary, to Melbourne, via Los Angeles.  I had to wrap it to fully protect it, and still be able to open it up for security and customs checks. Thankfully, I was able to get it to the wedding in one piece.

Gary – I couldn’t open the file you sent with captions, so perhaps you could add some comments using the COMMENTS link under this posting.

14 Responses to Amazing Dioramas Instead of A Model Railroad

  • Jerrysays:

    These are first-class dioramas. Beautiful work. I wish the pictures were better and larger to really study the scenes from various angles. Thanks for posting.

  • Tonysays:


  • Sheilasays:

    Beautiful work. Which was built on the turntable?

    • Gary Sanfordsays:

      The photo in the upper left-hand corner, the one with the windmill was installed on a turntable, normally used for condiments on our kitchen dining table. It was installed on the turntable so the details on all sides could be seen easier, but it’s not shown in this photo.

  • Sheilasays:

    Please post if appropriate.
    TCA-Louisiana Chapter Train Show
    First Baptist Church Gymnasium
    325 E. Pine St
    Ponchatoula, Louisiana
    Many layouts – All scales
    Public invited to enjoy 9a.m. to 3 p.m.
    $5.00 admission – 6 and under – free.

  • Gary Sanfordsays:

    It’s too bad you couldn’t open all the files because the caption below the bottom 4 photos refers to a different diorama, and there were no photos of it… these 4 photos were of a larger 24″ x 16″ diorama that included a small engine service yard with a water tank, and several office and service buildings.

  • Garysays:

    Here’s a view of the 4″ x 6″ R&R Mining Company diorama from the rear of the train.

  • Garysays:

    Here’s another view of the R&R Mining Company. Everything but the train, office, and fan for the windmill was scratch built with parts from the junk box.

  • Andrewsays:

    Lovely dioramas Gary. Very impressive.

  • Stephansays:

    Gary, how much did you pay the elven builders?

    Wonderful structures, all.

  • Garysays:

    Here is a photo of the 16″ x 24″ diorama showing the railroad service yard on one side of the highway, and the Sanford brothers gas station and coffee shop on the other.

  • Debsays:

    Excellent pieces of work! Very inspirational. I’m glad I’m not the only person who hunts through the “junk” boxes for bits to use in my dioramas.

  • Matt Jacksonsays:

    Great dioramas. I’m leaning toward something along those lines as I don’t have the space for a layout of significant size since I model in North American O scale.

    • Garysays:

      Matt, have you taken a look at the Bachmann On30 scale trains yet? They have some very small 0-4-0 Porter engines and 0-4-0 Diesel engines that can be fully operational in a very small space, either in a continuous loop or point to point. If you go online you can find a lot of dioramas that are only 2’x4′ or 36″ in diameter, with lots of room for a few small buildings and scenery.

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